On Friday, December 9, 2016, a meeting was held by the Boards of Directors of the Greater Magnolia Chamber of Commerce and the Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce to take the final steps toward unifying both organizations into a single Chamber of Commerce to serve the entire Magnolia area.
The boards of each chamber first met in separate sessions in order to vote on final approval of the unification of the two organizations. In their respective deliberations, the board members voted to come together as the newly formed Greater Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce.
In order to expedite a smooth transition, the board of the Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce, in a unanimous vote, made the difficult, but necessary move to dissolve the chamber as a separate entity effective December 31, 2016. Candace Emmerich, the current Parkway Chamber chair explained the board’s decision, saying, “After researching and reviewing our options for the new unified chamber, the most cost effective and timely approach was to continue with one of the chamber’s tax ID numbers and to dissolve the other. If both were dissolved… we would have no history with the IRS and might lose potential future corporate members, the opportunity for grants, or the ability to obtain financing in the future. Without that history, we would be considered a totally new chamber without the benefits that history might afford.”
The MPCC and GMCC leadership also agreed to the creation of a new sixteen-member board of directors to steer the transition, consisting of 8 members from each of the two original chambers. The new board’s executive committee will consist of Kendrick Skipper (Board Chairman) Terre Albert (Chair Elect) Trish Cooper (Treasurer), and Donna Vidaurri (Secretary). The remaining twelve board members are Dr. Mark Feanny, Candy Emmerich, Brett McBride, Jose Velazquez, Brent Bush, Rebecca Conner, Travis Bryant, Tabitha Cameline, Dr. Rebecca Riley, Bill Gervasi, Vernon Cradier and Jessica Munselle. All board members present were sworn in by Montgomery County Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley.
The board voted to combine the staffs of the two chambers and named former MPCC President Kelly Hamann as President of Administration, and GMCC Executive Director Dona Hunt as President of Membership with Patty Gervasi serving as Director of Operations. “We are very excited to begin this new chapter in growth of the greater Magnolia area,” said Kendrick Skipper, chairman of the new board of directors. “The Greater Magnolia Parkway Chamber will now be in the best position possible to represent our growing areas businesses and communities.”
Membership levels and benefits for the new organization were approved for the 2017 year. Current members of both the MPCC and the GMCC will be receiving a document by mail and email outlining the new membership levels, benefits, and fee structure. “We believe that the majority of our members will see a great increase in added value to their membership,” said President of Membership Dona Hunt. Kelly Hamann, President of Administration, added “We believe our members will discover that they now have a larger pool of resources and a stronger voice advocating for them.”
For the time being, the new chamber’s offices will be located in Prosperity Bank building at 18935 FM 1774 in the city of Magnolia. This is the current location of the Greater Magnolia Chamber.
Before adjourning, the new board identified a list of priorities for the upcoming weeks and months, including development of a new logo and website, finalizing the chamber’s calendar of events for 2017, identifying the chamber’s program of work, and establishing committee leaders and team members.
For more information regarding the Greater Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce, please contact the following:
Kelly Hamann, President of Administration
Dona Hunt, President of Membership